On Wednesday, October 4th 2023, in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the contract for the Operation and Maintenance of the Thessaloniki Metro Network was signed between ELLINIKO METRO S.A. and THEMA S.A. Consortium.
The 11-year contract of an overall economic value of EURO 250 million was signed by the CEO of ELLINIKO METRO S.A., Mr. Nikolaos Kouretas, the legal representative of the contracting company THEMA S.A., Mr. Carlo Bianco, as well as by the CEO of ATM, Mr. Arrigo Giana, and the CEO of Egis Mr. Renaud Beziade during a special ceremony held in AGHIA SOFIA Station of the Thessaloniki Metro.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Infrastructures and Transport, Mr. Christos Staikouras, the Minister of Culture, Mrs. Lina Mendoni, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructures & Transport responsible for transport, Mrs. Christina Alexopoulou, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructures & Transport responsible for infrastructures related issues, Mr. Nikolaos Tachiaos, the Secretary General of Transport, Mr. Ioannis Xifaras and the Secretary General of Infrastructures, Mr. Kostas Magoulas.
Entire speech given by ELLINIKO METRO S.A. CEO Mr. Nikolaos Kouretas:
“It was precisely 4 years ago, when the debate on how the Thessaloniki Metro Project will be completed and how it will operate was initiated. You see, neither of the two issues had been resolved.
As regards the first issue, we knew what to do: We had to manage two projects in one: Metro and Antiquities. As far as the Metro Project was concerned, we did what we knew. As for the Antiquities, we developed new methods and enriched our portfolio, rendering, thus, ELLINIKO METRO S.A. the only Company in the world capable of building a Metro system in archaeological areas of such a scale.
Before descending to the Station, you all had the opportunity to witness the restoration of the Krineon-Nympheon building and other antiquities, as well the structures we built in order to preserve, protect and reveal them. Suffice it to say that the canopy you saw not only has the attributes of protecting antiquities, but also those of a new landmark.
None the less, allow me to elaborate on the construction project at the Metro inauguration ceremony.
As regards the second issue, i.e. the contract we are about to sign today, you took a brave decision together with the previous leadership of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport: To have the metro operated and maintained by a private entity, as the case is predominantly worldwide.
Thus, at the beginning of 2020, we, ELLINIKO METRO S.A., along with the current Deputy Minister started from scratch and in uncharted waters to compile the terms of an innovative and pioneering Private Public Partnership (PPP) Tender – amounting to 250 million EURO plus VAT – for the Operation and Maintenance of a fully-automated Metro System, a model that exists only in seven cities in Europe.
We managed to ensure public interest, since all revenues will be collected by ELLINIKO METRO S.A. and be returned to the public. Therefore, this model Contract for the Metro Operation will yield revenues to the State and, at the same time, it will provide high quality services to the citizens of Thessaloniki.
We adhered to all lawful procedures, we obtained all necessary approvals and we announced an International Tender.
In August 2022 the tender was carried out, last March we unsealed the pertinent offers and in July we had already submitted the relevant file to the Court of Auditors for approval. A speed record for such a tender. The Special Secretary I was working with, Mr Zervos, found it hard to believe me when I was briefing him about the dates.
Prime Minister, this day is the proof that when we all work together with a program and a goal, we achieve the optimal result significantly faster than expected.
So, after the efforts made, here we are today together with THEMA, the Special Purpose Company, consisting of the Companies EGIS and ΑΤΜ.
We are commencing with the preparatory period that will last 14 months; during this period the Operator will train its personnel in the Metro systems and train-sets and will organize the operation, maintenance, cleaning & security activities, as well as the management of the fare system.
Subsequently, the Operation and Maintenance of the network of the Base Project will commence and, shortly afterwards, the Kalamaria Extension will be put in operation for a 10-year period.
At this point, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this day:
The employees of ELLINIKO METRO S.A., who put their heart and soul beyond their work, so that we could complete the tender and the pertinent procedures as quickly as possible and sign this contract today.
I would like to express my appreciation especially to the citizens of Thessaloniki, who have gone through a lot, were patient and endured the pressure. I assure you that the day when the metro will be operational is approaching.
After the completion of the Extension to Piraeus, the commencement of the works for the construction of Line 4, we confirm that we are entering the final stretch for the commercial revenue of Thessaloniki Metro.
Thank you for your continued support and trust in us”.